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Exp Dermatol. 2013 Feb;22(2):153-5. doi: 10.1111/exd.12083.

Staphylococcus aureus skin colonization is promoted by barrier disruption and leads to local inflammation.


Experimental mouse models of bacterial skin infections that have been described show that pathogenic microorganisms can readily invade the epidermis and dermis to produce localized infections. We used an epicutaneous mouse skin infection model to determine how the level of barrier disruption by tape-stripping correlates with persistence of Staphylococcus aureus skin colonization, concomitant induction of cutaneous inflammation and infection. Furthermore, we investigated how murine skin responds to S. aureus colonization in a physiologic setting by analysing proinflammatory cytokines and antimicrobial peptides in mouse skin. We show that previous cutaneous damage allows skin inflammation to develop and favours S. aureus persistence leading to cutaneous colonization, suggesting an interdependence of cutaneous bacteria and skin. Our study suggests that skin barrier defects favour S. aureus skin colonization, which is associated with profound cutaneous inflammation.

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